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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:35 PM   #1
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Default Some little birds

Been out on many park trails, continuing to repair effects of recent storms. Thanks to my new, portable birding lens (Tokina 400mm ATX), was able to get a few more snapshots of some park birds at the same time.

We in East Tennessee are blessed to be able to see (and hear) bluebirds year-round. Here are two views of a female Eastern Bluebird. She were part of a flock of about 20 Eastern Bluebirds working through the ancient Eastern Red Cedars up on a high bluff in the home park.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:38 PM   #2
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And here are a few views of the male of the species. As for many songbirds, the males are brighter-colored. Bright colors help him attract a mate, and also help him draw predators away from the nest...
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:39 PM   #3
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Bluebirds are common in East Tennessee, but Hermit Thrushes are not. We only see them during the winter, and rarely even then. This one was nice enough to pose on a stump beside the trail for several minutes.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:43 PM   #4
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Just one more bird for now.

Our commonest winter warbler here in East Tennessee is the Yellow-Rumped Warbler. These little bundles of feathers and energy rarely pause long enough for this (slow) photographer to get a snapshot. But my new lens is so nice and small, with quick focusing, that I was able to get a few quick shots in a trailside thicket recently.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 8:48 PM   #5
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Here are a few more random bird shots with the same lens:










Hope you enjoyed seeing these fine little birds, and that you will share your comments and critique.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 6:43 AM   #6
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Fantastic series of shots, enjoyed viewing.

jj
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 4:21 PM   #7
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Superb images mole...
That male Bluebird is quite something..!
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 5:45 PM   #8
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Wow, terrific shots mole!! I adore bluebirds. We have a very small population of Western Bluebirds here which are much more dull compared to your Eastern (our males look like your females), but I still love them. I have seen about 6 in my lifetime near our house, so I have few nest boxes up trying to attract them but no luck so far. I keep in close contact with the folks of Bluebird Club of So Cal.

Your other shots are fabulous too!
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 6:53 PM   #9
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Great series Mole. I must agree with you, even here in middle TN we get lots of great birds to watch during the winter and year round!!
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Old Jan 25, 2012, 7:58 PM   #10
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JJ - So glad you enjoyed these!

Simon - Thanks so much! Male Bluebirds are indeed lovely little "critters." And not too hard to get close to, with just a bit of patience.

Saly - Thanks for your kind words. Are Western Bluebirds always scarce, or just in your area. Eastern Bluebirds are VERY COMMON here in East Tennessee, especially in the winter. Preferred habitat is old fields with some forest edges nearby. Wonder if your western species enjoys a similar habitat...

Mugmar - Glad you liked these! Yes, there are some fine birding spots in Middle Tennessee. We Rangers have occasional meetings at other parks, and I always look forward to chances to check out the birds at Henry Horton, Montgomery Bell, and, of course, Radnor Lake.
PS - I know you visit the Smokies pretty often, judging from your great photos. Do you ever make it up here to Northeast Tennessee? Let me know if you need some tips for good hiking places in the parks or in Cherokee National Forest.
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